9 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand
Whether searching for a job, marketing your business, or trying to sell your expertise, a personal brand will help you get there faster. But cultivating a personal brand is more than just being popular: It’s being known for what you can deliver.
As you think about your own journey – and whatever outcome you’re looking for – a personal brand can help you get there. That’s why we’ve compiled the 9 tips to help you build your personal brand in a way that’s impactful and fun.
1 – Understand yourself
The first step is to know yourself. It seems like an easy job, isn’t it? But, do you really know yourself?
It is often said that human beings are the most complex beings on the earth. We compare others and identify if we are superior or inferior to other beings. Even though this might work in competitive setup, it is not effective in developing your brand.
It is important that you identify what makes you unique among others. This is key:
- Create a portfolio for yourself.
- Identify both your strengths and weaknesses.
- Dive deep into what you are, what you can do (skills) and what do you want to do.
This step is introspective in nature. Sit, breathe and learn what makes you, “you.”
2 – Research and define target groups
Once you identify your skills, the second step is to research the areas which you have potential to grow. These areas can from location to industry of your choice. In simple words, recognize your niche areas where you can build your career and where your abilities add value.
There are multiple sectors and multiple roles in each industry. Make a list of opportunities that allow you to grow. This list should be made researching the requirements of every industry and the role you would fit in.
For instance, if your key skills are writing, proofreading and editing. These might be your broader skills. Every industry inevitably needs a writer. When you must select an industry, you identify your areas of interests such as healthcare, technology, automobiles or others and the scope of your development.
3 – Get social
As you have set goals in the last steps, now it is the time to leverage social media to give you stature and recognition. Social media platforms are not mere entertainment and tools to share your personal life. Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + and Twitter are revamped in the last year. Businesses are attached to these platforms to reach out to a larger sector of customers. Budding entrepreneurs are transforming their Go-To-Market strategies.
Similarly, build your social media portfolios to create greater visibility. Remember, you are recognized with what you post or create on these social media. Posts must be directed to meet your objectives.
Often individuals while building their social media platforms, indulge themselves in different activities which are either irrelevant or deviate from what wanted to do earlier. Just keep in mind, building your brand on social media affects a lot on how people perceive and hence, avoid mishaps establishing yourself on social media.
4 – Engage, engage, engage
Thanks to social media revolution today, you can connect to people beyond borders. Let people know what you can do. However, it does not mean that you brag yourself across platforms. Let your actions reflect your skills that you possess. Engage your friends, followers or connections with interesting facts about you and how can you help a particular industry. Maybe, you might work with one of your connections in future.
Don’t be afraid to be forward an unconventional. Take risks:
- Share your personal story.
- Share funny (appropriate) memes.
- Respond with your controversial take on things.
- Talk about things outside your usual ‘brand’ that you have knowledge on.
In other words, by engaging your connections you are creating your presence among people. This becomes key to build your personal brand.
5 – Don’t go it alone
Go to forums, seminars and workshops on your subject knowledge. You meet your community. In this process, you may other opportunities for you which may not have identified in the second step.
These groups need not be physical in nature. There are hundreds of virtual groups online discussing interests, requirements and trending updates across the globe. Identify these groups of your interest and join these groups to expand your knowledge as well as expand your network.
Some forums online to try:
As members have similar interests to you, you can also identify the mistakes and learn from their mistakes instead of you committing one. Similarly, learn how an individual had grown and incorporated best practices in building your portfolio. Moreover, you can also use these groups to share your talent and build your reputation.
6 – Build in public
Moving to our sixth step, this is connected the fifth. As mentioned in the fifth step, you can use the groups to showcase your talent. You can show your thought leadership by deviating from the norms and reflect them in your articles, posts or even infographics. Creativity is always appreciated.
What we mean, when we say, “Thought Leadership”? It’s a fancy term to describe your ideas. Your ideas are what will bring you up. Using everything possible and think outside of the box solve a mystery. Be aware of what is happening and look at them from different perspectives to initiate speaking engagements.
Caution yourself that in this process, a few may agree, and a few may not agree. Remember, an idea is also a perspective. Be ready to take both positive and critical appreciation.
7 – Constantly deliver value
Why not build a website for yourself? Send your website, instead of your resume/CV.
On your website, you should have:
- Your skills.
- Examples of your work.
- The work you’re available to do.
- A way to contact you.
- Links to your social page.
Neither exaggerate nor do understate yourself — just focus on the truth.
The simplest way to do this would be web builders like WordPress or Squarespace, both of which have very low (or even free) options to get you started.
The key is to treat your website like your central pillar. Everything you do on the internet should link back to your website and it should always be up to date. That way you ‘own your name’ online so when people search you, they find your website and see the content you want them to.
8 – Track your metrics
As you grow online, make sure you’re keeping track of what’s going on. You’ll need this data for tweaking later on and to see what’s working.
Pay attention to:
- Web traffic sources.
- Engagement on your social media.
- Conversion / conversation on your various web properties.
Metrics also have a second thing that’s helpful: they show you what opportunities not to take. It may feel like you’ve got nothing when you’re first starting out, but the reality is many people will come up with offers to collaborate, buy from them, work with them, or something else. Knowing where your successes come from via your metrics will help you make the right decisions about partnerships.
9 – Learn as you go
Learning is a never-ending process. No matter how many years of experience you have or any number of books you read, there are always new things to learn from the big world out there.
Look at all kinds of learning:
- … etc.
Learning is what keeps you growing. Great leaders to industry experts, they are successful in their careers ‘cause they learn. Cultivate the willingness to learn from experience, from experts and from the great books.